The LA Sephardic Music Festival Recap/Teaser (Video)
- April 20, 2014

After nine years in New York, we brought our Sephardic Music Festival (SMF) to Los Angeles, California between March 2 — 11, 2014. The Sephardic Music Festival is the first music festival to focus exclusively on the less familiar but captivating culture of the Jews who lived for centuries among the vibrant cultures of North Africa, Spain, and the Middle East. The festival is a cross-generational Jewish diversity party, blending events that are more traditional with party nights that are more trap based.

The festival featured Yemen Blues, Asaf Avidan, Diwon, Automatic Toys, David Sussia, Shahs of Sinai, The Sephardic Story Slam, Body Painting, Drum Circle classes, Jewelry and Hamsa making, Belly Dancing and lots more.

Keep up with the festival at and at our Facebook page, here.


Matisyahu’s “Reservoir” (First leak off Akeda)
- March 21, 2014

From Matisyahu: “Ladies and gents, here is the first track I want to share with you from my new record, “Akeda”. The new record incorporates many styles and had me exploring with musicians I worked with in the early years of my career as well as my band Dub Trio…there is something for everyone. This track is called “Reservoir”–I put together a band that included my long time soul brothers Aaron Dugan on guitar and Rob Marscher on keys, as well as Stu Brooks of Dub Trio on bass and renowned drummer Mark Guiliana. The original riff, written by Aaron, was expounded upon in a series of improvisational jams. It has a circular feel and inspired the lyrics that came. I wanted this to be the very first song you guys heard–it is my thank you to Ha Kodesh Baruch Hu (the holy blessed one) for life and for the ability to make another record. In Judaism, we say the blessing Shehecheyanu when we reach a milestone or holiday–basically a thanks for allowing me to reach this occasion. This is my prayer, Shehecheyanu. I also address the pain I felt and continue to feel from my “brothers” who are so quick to throw me under the bus because of my changes. As always, I make many references to the fathers, mothers and stories of the Old Testament–only here, for the first time, I truly internalize and personalize these stories, making them less abstract and deeply personal. The name reservoir refers to the reservoir in Central Park that I have found myself randomly walking around at different stages in my life. The realization that I have never completed the whole circle represents my desire for closure and completeness, which seems to be something I am always chasing. I hope you enjoy. “This is David’s heart, a rainbow coloured cry from the end to the start.”

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Remix Dreams and Win $500 and an Official Release!
- March 21, 2014

DIS-INDABAWe are extremely excited to announce our second remix partnership with Indaba Music. This time it’s with Dreams in Static’s latest song “You’re On Your Own” ! Enter now to win $500 and an official release! Enter here:

Note: If you haven’t seen the music video “You’re On Your Own”, it premiered on the Wall Street Journal last week and AltSounds described their sound as “John Mayer meets The Rolling Stones with more soul; yes it’s possible.”

Here is what Indaba Music had to say; “If your soul feels full and the blues is penetrating your blood/brain barrier, you may be having Dreams In Static. A collaboration between producers Diwon and Dugans, Dreams In Static weaves the best of Hip Hop, Rock and Soul to create warm sonics and beautiful melodies.

Now, Dreams In Static and Indaba Music want you to remix their new single “You’re On Your Own”, which features Brooklyn based singer Akie Bermiss. Take the stems to this pristine throwback track and make something all on your own.”



AltSounds says Dreams in Static got more soul than the Rolling Stones (music video)
- March 19, 2014

Thought you would enjoy this song/video and this post from AltSounds: So who doesn’t love new music? No one raised theirhands? GOOD, because Dreams In Static has released their music video for their first single ‘You’re On Your Own’ off of their upcoming album Part Of The Machine by partnering with the Wall Street Journal. No, this isn’t a Segway into an article about numbers, calm down.

This debut music video, directed by award winning Jonty Fine, Chief Director of Bancs Media, can be viewed on The WallStreet Journal website

Dreams in Static is a project formed by LA based hip-hop producer Diwon and New York City producer and songwriter Dugans. Straight off of their highly anticipated album, the two partners hired on Akie Bermiss to add on some beautiful vocals into the already dreamy Dreams In Static grooves. “If hip-hop is dead to the underground and rock is dead to the mainstream, Dream sin Static resurrects the two and blends their elements into one sonic sonnet,” explains Diwon. It’s like John Mayer meets The Rolling Stones with more soul; yes it’s possible. Bringing in sexy guitar tones and soul singing that have left the world of quality music, these three partners in crime resurrect the passionate and dynamic sound to popular music. Nice one dudes…I mean sirs.

Purchase “You’re On Your Own” on iTunes, here:

Keep an eye out for Dreams In Static’s upcoming album Part Of The Machine, set to release later this year. Purchase Dreams In Static’s previous album, Serene Poetic, here: For more information, please visit:


L.A. music fest aims to prove Sephardic culture rocks
- February 27, 2014

art_yemen-blues_022814_584The feature story in the beloved Jewish Journal in LA read “L.A. music fest aims to prove Sephardic culture rocks” by Jonathan Maseng. Pick up your copy this week or read below for the feature.

For years, people have asked Erez Safar what it would take to bring his popular New York-based Sephardic Music Festival to Los Angeles. Turns out, all it took was for its creator to move west. A newly minted Angeleno, Safar will debut the Sephardic Music Festival’s Los Angeles edition March 2-11, and he hopes to share the same hip, progressive acts that have made the New York festival such a success.

“Initially, I came out [to L.A. to work] more on the music side, and then I started to just expand,” Safar said. His company, Bancs Media, does production, branding and PR, and while film licensing opportunities initially lured him to the West Coast, he soon saw an opportunity to work on his passion project as well.

Sephardic music traces its roots to the Jews of medieval Spain and is often composed in Hebrew as well as in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language that was to Sephardic Jews what Yiddish was to Ashkenazim. Safar’s festival has featured many artists who fit squarely into the Sephardic tradition, like Sarah Aroeste, Gerard Edery and the band DeLeon, but it has also headlined artists with more suspect Sephardic credentials, like Matisyahu, Soulfarm and Diwon,

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Dreams in Static – “You’re On Your Own” (MUSIC VIDEO TEASER)
- February 13, 2014

Dreams in Static “You’re On Your Own” is the first single from their upcoming album featuring Akie Bermiss. Dreams in Static conjures up the aesthetics of Pulp Fiction & Curtis Mayfield. The upcoming album produced by Los Angeles based hip hop producer Diwon and multifaceted guitarist/composer, Dugans will feature Akie Bermiss throughout. Bringing his own signature sound — with hints of Smokey Robinson and TV on the Radio – Akie Bermiss’ timeless dream-like voice breathes life and narratives into the Dreams in Static grooves.

** Be on the look out for the full music video directed by Bancs Media’s own Jonty Fine accompanied by the big Indaba Music remix contest later this month and keep up with Dreams in Static, here.





Yemen Blues perform opening night of #SMFLA
- February 11, 2014

Yemen-Blues-652-x-367The first Sephardic Music Festival in Los Angeles opens with an epic world arts day followed by its opening night with the incredible Yemen Blues on March 2nd! Yemen Blues coexist in both the past and the present; they are timeless and modern. Fronted by acclaimed vocalist Ravid Kahalani, the group mies the music of Yemen and West Africa with funk, mambo, soul, and ancient chanting styles. Conjuring up a rich and diverse musical palette with the use of percussion, oud, horns, and strings, their myriad influences carry over to the stage, where the ensemble navigates from the boisterous to the romantic and from joyous celebration to anguished balladry.

Tickets: $30, $35, $40. (CSULA students • $15. Other students • $20.)

Tickets available via Ticketmaster and the Luckman Box Office.

Check out the rest of the events that go throughout March 11th @


Sephardic World Arts Day March 2nd #SMFLA
- January 30, 2014

smfmfmf• Sephardic World Arts Day opens up the LA Sephardic Music Festival with world food, music and free, hands-on, interactive activities for all ages on March 2nd from 3 – 7pm at Street of the Arts walkway (The Luckman): 5151 State University Dr Los Angeles, CA 90032

A list of workshops include;

Sephardic CHALLAH WORKSHOP (participants will be taught how to braid the challah, and then they will prepare their own dough to take home) 
HAMSA MAKING WORKSHOP (participants will design on their own wooden hamsa blank)
and a SEPHARDIC DANCE WORKSHOP led by Lior Haykeen.

Participants will also have the opportunity to step into the Jimena video booth. There will be a questionnaire related to their identity and their knowledge of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews. For Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews who participate it will be an opportunity to reflect on their own identity and what Sephardic / Mizrahi culture means to them, in addition it will be a way to document a piece of their own family story and culture. Each participant will be in the booth for 5-15 minutes.

You could find updated info at


- January 21, 2014

SMF14-LA-2-web22Shemspeed & Bancs Media’s popular Sephardic Music Festival hit Ynet (Israeli’s largest newswire) today. Here is what they had to say: “After nine years in New York, the Sephardic Music Festival (SMF) will make its way to Los Angeles, California and is scheduled to take place on March 2-8 2014.

The festival will continue SMF’s cutting-edge reputation for presenting the best in contemporary Sephardic Jewish music from across the globe.

The word Sephardic is derived from the Hebrew word for “Spanish,” and generally refers to Jews descended from those who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until they were expelled during the Spanish Inquisition at the end of the 15th Century. They fled to countries such as, Turkey, Balkans, Southern France, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria.

The term also includes Jews from Arab countries, such as Algeria, Yemen,Egypt, Iraq and Morocco.

Founded by American-Israeli producer Diwon, the SMF is the only Jewish music festival in the United States to focus exclusively on Sephardic music and culture and showcase the latest Mizrahi, Yemenite, and Ladino artists from around the world.

The festival offers a platform for performers of traditional Sephardic folk music and innovators who fuse traditional Sephardic rhythms, melodies, and motifs with modern musical styles.

With an incredible range of artists this year, the Sephardic Music Festival presents a colorful tapestry of music and culture as rich, vibrant, and diverse as the Jewish world itself.” (read the rest of this article at Ynet)



Ariel Sharon Free Download
- January 15, 2014

Kosha Dillz created an album with C-Rayz Walz to showcase the similarities between Jews and blacks and their similar struggles.

The song Ariel Sharon was meant to  showcase lyrical prowess and “beasting” on a track, the same way Ariel Sharon did for the Israeli people as a feared and revered leader.

In commemoration of his passing, and what many consider a controversial legacy we offer the song for free download.




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